T-Mobile lined up for naming rights to Mariners ballpark

Telecommunications company T-Mobile is reportedly set to become the new naming rights partner for Safeco Field, the home stadium of Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise the Seattle Mariners.

The Forbes website reported that T-Mobile will pay around $3m (£2.3m/€2.6m) per year for the contract commencing in 2019, which will result in the first renaming of the ballpark since it opened in July 1999.

Insurance company Safeco has held naming rights throughout the life of the stadium, but announced last year that it would not seek to extend its 20-year contract, which is due to expire on December 31.

T-Mobile said in a statement to Forbes: “We’re always looking for ways to show our hometown love but we don’t have any news to share at this time.”

The deal is expected to be confirmed after the Mariners seal a new lease agreement for the ballpark with the Public Facilities District (PFD), the body that oversees the stadium. This is expected to happen in December.

“We do not have an agreement with a naming rights partner,” Rebecca Hale, the Mariners director of public information, told MLB.com. “We are not able to finalise an agreement until after the PFD has given their final approval to our lease.

“We have an agreement in terms on the lease, but are now finalising the official language. That’s been going on for several weeks, and we’re very hopeful that final agreement happens sometime soon. Then we can finalise any agreement for a naming rights partner.”

The current lease is also due to run through December 31 and PFD executive director Kevin Callan told the Seattle Times: “The PFD and the club are still working to finalise a lease and anticipate that to be completed by the end of the year.”

Image: David Schott